Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Guitar Tip: Record Different Microphones From Difference Distances

While attending school at the Recording Institute of Detroit, I found that one of the major focuses was microphone placement. And since getting the perfect sound from a guitar can sometimes be so difficult, instructors often emphasized guitar microphone placement more than other sections of recording.

One of the things we always talked about and practiced was the process of using multiple microphones efficiently at and around the sound source to improve your chances of achieving the perfect sound.

The rule of thumb we were taught was: Why put all your eggs in one basket, meaning why just use one microphone?

If you can take three or more different microphones and set them in different places such as: two up nice-and-close, about 1-5 inches away picking up sound from both sides of the source, another one about 3 to 5 feet away, one in the distance, maybe ten feet maybe further and others placed about the room depending on preference -- you will have a broad line of guitar tracks that can be useful during mix-down.

With this process, when your done recording, you should have enough sound sources that even if a couple of them did not turn out the way you wanted them to, you should still be able to find something that fits your needs. Weather it's just one track you decide on using or you decide to use more than one together with each other, you should be able to avoid the need to go back in the recording room and re-record the track.

This process may also allow you to cut back on plug-ins such as reverb or delay. You can try to mix in some of the room mics to emulate those plug-ins, and lets face it, the less you use your plug-ins the more natural the sound source sounds.

Important Tip: Make sure that each separate track sounds perfect while playing by itself, worry about how they sound playing together later during mix down.

From course-to-verse from song-to-song, the options of having a different texture of sound from the same guitar without the need of leaving the control room to change things around can be extremely convenient for a recording engineer and producer.

Although this tip is pretty amateur, it can still be often forgotten when going through the motions of setting up for a recording. But if you have a guitarist and or a band that's not sure exactly how they want the guitar to sound throughout a track or an album, than this is a great way to give them a couple of track options with one recording section.

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